Great Opportunity for SMU Football
While some might see the sudden resignation of June Jones as the SMU head football coach as a negative, I think the timing is perfect. First off, it was obvious that Jones heart wasn’t in his job. Getting schooled by Baylor is one thing. It’s a top 10 college program with a Heisman Trophy candidate at quarterback, but being embarrassed by North Texas is demoralizing. I wouldn’t be surprised if the Mustangs only won 2 games this year after what happened in Denton. The SMU players have to feel like they are a joke and, honestly, they have become the butt of a lot of jokes by media and fans in the Metroplex.
The positive out of all of this is A) the team doesn’t have to depend on the “genius” of Jones any more and B) they can find a great, new, young coaching stud to take them to the next level. For the football job the powers on the Hilltop need to go the opposite way of the basketball hire, Larry Brown. The chances of finding a 70 year old, Hall of Fame football coach hanging around the phone waiting for a call are slim. But Brown has made SMU basketball relevant again after 25 years out of the spotlight–hell, out of a 20 watt bulb light might be more accurate.
As the Ponies slop their way through this season, the search committee can spend the time to vet out a dozen candidates and find the next coach who will turn the Mustangs back into a bowl team and be committed to being in Dallas for 5-8 years. It’s too bad that Kliff Kingsbury got the job at Texas Tech. He would have been perfect. A great, young football mind, a guy who can relate to today’s players and has model looks that would have been splashed all over every magazine in town not to mention the country. He is what Mike Modano was to hockey in this town 20 years ago. He may be whittling away in Lubbock but the college coaching ranks are filled with his kind. Okay, maybe that won’t look like Matthew McConaughey, but sharp, young minds are out there. SMU has sat back and watched two old contemporaries, Baylor and TCU, pass them by like a Porsche on the North Dallas tollway. The school can’t be happy about the way things have turned out. A school in Fort Worth and (are you serious!) Waco, have out coached, out hired, out recruited and out played the Mustangs for the past decade. SMU is in Dallas, one of the top 3 high school football hotbeds in the entire nation, but here’s a statistic that might raise some eyebrows – SMU has fewer Texas high school players on its team than any of the 12 top tier college football programs in the state. How is that possible?
Hire a new coach, who right now might be a coordinator at Alabama or Notre Dame or Stanford, let him bring in about a dozen of hot, young assistants who will hit up every DISD coach, and within 2 years, the Hilltop will have forgotten all about June’s 4 straight bowl teams (a feat that he deserves a lot of credit for, as well as bringing the Mustangs back from near death). Just like Moody, Gerald Ford Stadium will be the hot ticket in town–if the powers at SMU do this right. I’m crossing my fingers.